Beijing cleared up 57 polluted bodies of water in its built-up areas over two years of cleanup and restoration work, according to the Beijing Water Authority.
Based on the results of an inspection on all the rivers and water channels in the city towards the end of 2015, a total of 141 bodies of water were rated as black and odorous based on criteria such as water clarity, dissolved oxygen, redox potential, and ammonia nitrogen. In the built-up areas -- populous areas with public facilities -- there were 57 bodies of black and odorous water, accounting for 248 kilometers of watercourses.
In 2016, the water authorities made detailed plans to clear up the polluted bodies of water and asked the public to help monitor the work progress. During the process, they shut down polluting businesses and either blocked sewage outlets or altered them to reduce water pollutants. In addition, the authorities planned trees along the watercourses to help rebuild the ecological sustainability of the waterbodies. As a result, the main watercourses such as the Xiaotaihou River, the Liangshui River, and the Xiaoqing River, as well as multiple rivulets, brooks, and ditches, have regained their water clarity and a healthy ecological environment.
Over the past two years, Beijing has installed 582 kilometers of sewage pipeline, built 12 sewage treatment plants, and set up 83 temporary sewage treatment facilities. They applied methods such as graphene photocatalysis, titanium dioxide photocatalysis desilting, and connecting the watercourses to clear up the polluted waterbodies.
The authorities are continuing to monitor and protect the 57 bodies of water from pollutants, placing them under the management of local river chiefs. In addition, they are speeding up the treatment on the rest of the 84 polluted waterbodies that fall in non-built-up areas and hope to make progress soon.